Downsized at KCRW, Harry Shearer Talks About It with KPCC


By Richard Horgan Comment

It’s always dangerous when the person at the other end of a business decision is also a sharp-witted comedian. To wit, here’s how recently downsized KCRW Le Show host Harry Shearer began his phone interview with KPCC’s Mike Roe:

“I got a message that the [KCRW] general manager wanted to discuss a ‘proposal’ with me, that was her word. I understand broadcast speak to know that that wasn’t, ‘Will you marry me?’”

The KPCC “Without a Net” pop culture blog conversation with Shearer runs a bountiful 30 minutes, so there’s lots of info here not just about getting Le Heave Ho but also topics The Simpsons voiceover maestro has covered on the program like Hurricane Katrina and the foreclosure crisis. One of the KCRW vet’s main beefs appears to be – a la Johnny Carson and Joan Rivers – the fact that he was not given more advance courtesy notice about the KCRW weekend programming move. It was simply, “effective immediately.”

Radio programming comes and goes, and Shearer has had a nice long run on KCRW. About halfway through the conversation, he tells Roe the Le Show downsizing to podcast and other terrestrial markets reminds him of what happened last year with the daily newspaper in his adopted hometown of New Orleans. He also makes a very good point about KCRW missing a great 30th anniversary send-off opportunity.

All in all, a nice cross-town, same-end-of-the-FM-dial scoop for Roe.